Who We Are

We are one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a founding member of the Graduate Theological Union. We provide theological education for the training of clergy and lay leaders. We offer ordination, non-ordination, and research level degrees and certificates.

Our Mission

  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary develops leaders for the church by: deepening faith in Christ; challenging the mind; expanding the heart; and energizing for mission.


  • PLTS was founded in Portland Oregon in 1910; relocated to Seatle for a number of years; and relocated to its current location in Berkeley in 1952. We merged with California Lutheran University in 2014.


  • Berkeley, California
  • Only Lutheran seminary in the western half of the United States
  • Covering 13 states, our territory of service includes nearly two-thirds of the country

The Graduate Theological Union (GTU)

  • Consortium of nine seminaries and nine research centers in partnership with the University of California, Berkley.
  • Our students enjoy cross registration privileges at other GTU schools and at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • We are an active member of the common GTU M.A. and PhD programs.
  • The GTU offers concentrations in 13 areas of study: Art and Religion, Biblical Studies, Buddhist Studies, Christian Spirituality, Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions, Ethics and Social Theory, History, Homiletics, Interdisciplinary Studies, Interreligious Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Liturgical Studies, Near Eastern Religions, Orthodox Christian Studies, Religion and Psychology, and Systematic and Philosophical Theology.



  • Nine retreat-like acres on the 1,000-foot crest of the Berkeley Hills
  • Overlooking Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay to the west, vast regional park to the east
  • A visionary Master Plan for the future

Numbers at PLTS and the GTU

  • Enrollment: 1,100+
  • Faculty: 150+
  • Yearly Course Offerings: 750+

Degree and Certificate Programs

  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.): Four year program of preparation for ordination, includes one year of internship.
  • Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.): Two year program of graduate theological study for a wide range of personal and professional purposes.
  • Master of Arts (M.A.): Granted by PLTS and the GTU
  • Doctor of Philosophy: Granted through the GTU
  • Certificate of Theological Studies (C.T.S.): One year individualized program for lay church occupations or life enrichment.
  • Certificate of Advanced Theological Study (C.A.T.S.): An individualized program beyond the M.Div. or other professional degree in ministry. Serves as the 'Lutheran Year' program of studies for students who earn part or all of their M.Div. degree at a non-ELCA school.
  • Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (T.E.E.M.) Certificate: Three year program leading to ordained ministry, involving distance education and intensive short courses at the seminary.

To learn more about our programs click over to the Programs and Application section of our site here.


Accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved: Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies.

The Commission contact information is:

The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburg PA 15275
Telephone: 412-788-6510
Fax: 412-788-6510
Website: www.ats.edu